Toms Tips About Dock Cleats

By Tom Neale, 5/12/2011

1. I’ll never forget being tied to what appeared to be a very sturdy floating dock on a very windy day, hearing a cracking noise as I sat writing an article at my computer, going up on deck, and seeing the dock plank beginning to break because of the pull on the cleat.

2. When you tie to a cleat, check, if possible to safely do so, to see that the cleat itself is secure.

3. Being bolted through a plank, even with large backup washers, often isn’t enough.

4. It’s better if the cleats are bolted through multiple stringers or hefty pilings or other more substantial structures. If bolted to pilings, be sure the cleat won’t impact your boat if the boat moves to the piling. Better built marinas can have very secure cleats.

5. The size of cleats needed depends on your boat, but don’t tie unless you’re sure that it’s adequate.

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